The Royal Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will be held from Saturday 4th to Monday 6th May 2019. The actual coronation will take place on the first day and the last day will be a public holiday. An announcement by the Bureau of the Royal Household, issued on 1st January 2019, stated that His Majesty the King had ascended the Throne as the King of Thailand, following the invitation of the President of the National Legislative Assembly, acting as the President of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Thai people. “His Majesty the King deems it appropriate that it is time for the Royal Coronation Ceremony to be conducted in accordance with royal traditions and for the joy of the people and the Kingdom on this auspicious occasion of the country.”
UPDATED 01/05/2019: The following information is what we know so far about the coronation and how it will affect foreign tourists and expats. Please bookmark this page or the front page of RichardBarrow.com as I will be updating as and when new information comes in.
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LEADING UP TO THE CORONATION (6th April-3rd May 2019)
The earliest process in the preparation of the Royal Coronation Ceremony is to collect waters from different important sources and then consecrate and combine them for use in the Royal Purification and Anointment Ceremonies during the Royal Coronation Ceremony.
- Saturday 6th April 2019: Each provincial governor will perform a rite of drawing water from a significant water source of their province.
- Monday 8th – Tuesday 9th April 2019: Consecration rites for the water will be organized in each province at royal temples.
- Thursday 18th April 2019: The sacred water from 77 provinces will go through another consecration rite, to be held at Wat Suthat Thepphawararam, one of Bangkok’s oldest and most important temples. The Prime Minister will preside over this consecration rite.
- Friday 19th April 2019: The consecrated water for the Royal Coronation Ceremony will be taken in a procession from Wat Suthat to the ubosot of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
- Monday 22nd – Tuesday 23rd April 2019: A ceremony to inscribe the full name of the King on Phra Suphannabap, a golden sheet.
- Thursday 2nd May 2019: The King will pay respects to all deities.
- Friday 3rd May 2019: A procession to carry royal items including Phra Suphannabap, the golden sheet with the King’s name inscribed on it, and the royal seal. 133 soldiers will feature in this procession, from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to the Phaisan Thaksin Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.
The inscription of the Royal Golden Plaques and engraving the Royal Seal of State
The ceremony of making an inscription on the Royal Golden Plaque of the official title of the King and on the Royal Golden Plaque of the King’s horoscope, as well as the engraving of the Royal Seal of State, are important processes in the preparation for the Royal Coronation Ceremony. This takes place inside the ubosot of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
- Monday 22nd April 2019, 4:00 pm: Ten monks chant prayers at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on the day before the designated day of the inscription ceremony.
- Tuesday 23rd April 2019, 8:19am-11:35am: A ceremony is held at the ubosot of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to make an inscription on the Royal Golden Plaque of the official title of His Majesty the King, and the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s horoscope, as well as the engraving of the Royal Seal of State. On this occasion, the inscription of the Royal Golden Plaques, with the official titles of members of the Royal Family, is also made.
- Thursday 2nd May 2019, 4:09pm-8:30pm: His Majesty the King pays homage to the Equestrian Statue of King Chulalongkorn at the Royal Plaza and the Memorial of King Rama I at the foot of Memorial Bridge. He also worships sacred beings at Baisal Daksin Throne Hall and Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence.
- Friday 3rd May 2019, 10:00am The Royal Golden Plaque of the official title of His Majesty the King, the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s horoscope, and the Royal Seal of State are transferred from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to Baisal Daksin Throne Hall.
DURING THE CORONATION (4th-6th May 2019)
The Royal Coronation Ceremony of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King Rama X, will be televised by the Television Pool of Thailand and on the Thai TV Global Network for viewers in 170 countries worldwide. It will also be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the public relations department and various news outlets.
- Saturday 4th May 2019:
- 10.09am-12.00pm: The Royal Purification, or the “Song Muratha Bhisek” Ceremony, takes place at Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence. “Muratha Bhisek” refers to the action of pouring holy water over the head of the king, also known as ablution. It is followed by the Anointment Ceremony at Baisal Daksin Throne Hall. Then His Majesty the King proceeds to the Bhadrapitha Throne and sits under the Royal Nine-tiered Umbrella, where the Chief Brahmin presents him with the Royal Golden Plaque of His Majesty’s official title, the Royal Regalia, the Ancient and Auspicious Orders, and the Weapons of Sovereignty. After the Crowning and Investiture Ceremony, His Majesty presents the First Royal Command.
- 1:19pm-8:30pm: The ceremony of Assumption of the Royal Residence takes place at Chakrabat Biman Royal Residence. The purpose of the ceremony is to symbolically take up the royal residence and perform housewarming.
- 2:00pm: His Majesty the King grants a grand audience to members of the Royal Family, the Privy Council, and the Cabinet, as well as senior officials, gathered to offer their best wishes to His Majesty at Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall.
- 4:00pm: His Majesty proceeds to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to proclaim himself the Royal Patron of Buddhism.
- Sunday 5th May 2019:
- 9:00am: The ceremony to bestow His Majesty’s Royal Cypher and Royal Title and to grant the royal ranks to members of royalty takes place at Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall.
- 4:30pm: His Majesty the King rides in the Royal Palanquin in the Royal Procession on Land to encircle the city, affording people the opportunity to attend and pay homage to their new King.
The Route of the Royal Land Procession is from the Grand Palace, the procession comes out from Abhorn Bimok Pavilion through Vises Jayasri Gate. It turns right to Na Phra Lan Road, turns left to Ratchadamnoen Nai Road, turns right to Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, and then turns left to Tanao Road before moving toward Wat Bovoranives. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Bovoranives, where His Majesty the King enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
The procession continues to move along Phra Sumen Road and turns right to Ratchadamnoen Road, passing through the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall. Then it turns left to Atsadang Road and Bamrung Mueang Road. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Rajabopidh, where His Majesty enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
The procession leaves Wat Rajabopidh, passing through Fueang Nakhon Road, and then turns right to Charoen Krung Road. The Royal Palanquin stops in front of Wat Phra Chetuphon, where His Majesty enters to pay homage to the main Buddha image in the ubosot.
The procession with His Majesty riding in the Royal Palanquin leaves Wat Phra Chetuphon along Thai Wang Road, moving back to the Grand Palace. It enters Vises Jayasri Gate to Abhorn Bimok Pavilion.
- Monday 6th May 2019:
- 4:30pm: His Majesty the King grants a public audience on a balcony of Suddhaisavarya Prasad Hall in the Grand Palace to receive the good wishes of the people.
- 5:30pm: His Majesty grants an audience to members of the international diplomatic corps, who offer their felicitations on this special occasion at Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall.
AFTER THE CORONATION
- The final procedure of the Coronation of King Rama X is the Royal Barge Procession, to be held in October 2019. The procession begins at the Wasukri pier at 16.00 hr, when His Majesty the King travels along the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) on the occasion of presenting robes to Buddhist monks (Royal Kathin Ceremony). About 2,300 oarsmen will be prepared to row over 50 barges to be arranged into five groupings, from the Wasukri pier to Wat Arun, with a total length of four kilometers. Rhythmic barge-rowing songs are part of this ceremonial water-borne procession, which is a rare spectacle, arranged on special occasions only.The royal processions, both by land and by water, exhibit the glory and great power of the monarch, in accordance with the traditional beliefs and court traditions handed down through generations. They also mark the conclusion of the Royal Coronation Ceremony, which is considered one of the most important events for all Thai kings.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND CLOSURES: This is everything that we know so far
- Monday 6th May 2019 has been declared a special holiday in order for the public to join the celebrations in Bangkok. A similar holiday was declared during the cremation of King Rama IX.
- The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will most certainly be closed from 4th-6th May 2019 due to ceremonies for the coronation. However, it is also quite likely that the palace will be closed at least a week in advance for preparations. In the lead up to the cremation of King Rama IX, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha was closed for a whole month.
- In the future, 4th May will be a public holiday every year for Coronation Day (‘Wan Chattra Mongkhon’).
- It is most likely that all shops and tourist attractions will be open as normal during this period. During the cremation ceremony of King Rama IX, many places closed their doors for the day. But that was out of respect for the late King. It is unlikely they will do the same during the coronation. However, government-run attractions, like the national museums and royal palaces, will most certainly be closed that weekend. Anyway, they normally close on a Monday.
- 2,000 troops for King’s coronation –2,000 military personnel with high levels of physical fitness and good behavioural records to march in three traditional processions during His Majesty the King’s coronation ceremonies in May.